After a successful road trip yesterday, Sprinter Dan asked me to join him on a delivery today. So, I hopped behind the wheel to drive my first Sprinter and we headed to the Hyde Park area to meet up with Anna.
Anna, who has a partial C4 spinal injury and some neurological complications, has been wheelchair bound due to her injuries for the past 7 or 8 years. Anna told me that after spending so much time in Ambulettes – and currently her standard sized Dodge Van – that she wanted a “real car, not something that has been chopped and modified.”
“I feel comfortable in a Sprinter, and not like I’m being ‘transported’ as I do in other vans.” Anna’s rented van allows her very little room to get in and out, sometimes taking up to 15 minutes to get situated. There’s also no room for friends and family to be passengers without crowding Anna and the wheelchair. Additionally, Anna felt unsafe due to the close proximity of the passenger side airbags to her legs.
Price was the other factor that ultimately led to Anna’s choosing the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. After all is said and done, “the Sprinter has a similar price point to Dodge or Toyota,” (roughly $70-80,000). Bonus: Anna’s Sprinter also has heated seats with massage components.
Anna’s new Sprinter allows her to more easily transfer into a comfortable seat so that she is not confined to the wheelchair during road trips. She said she’s excited about the fact that her friends and family will now have the space to join her on outings and also for the 2-3 times per month she travels to Columbus for appointments with her doctor. I asked Anna if she had any big trips planned and she said it would be nice to be able to take the Sprinter to visit her family in New York, but she was most excited by the fact that it would “make everyday life so much easier.”
Anna, like Brady, is working with M.C. Mobility Systems, Inc. to outfit her Sprinter with a wheelchair lift. “It’s a great Christmas present to finally have it. One of my dreams come true. Dan has gone above and beyond to make this a reality. He’s driven the car back and forth to Indiana to make sure everything is just right.”
From left to right: Chanette – Anna’s Certified Nursing Assistant; Anna; Jimmy – Anna’s Dad; Dan Tilley – Sprinter Expert (aka Sprinter Dan).